We were met along the narrow street by a short, friendly Greek man who was to take us to the hotel. Now, keep in mind we are toting 2 large suitcases, 2 large carry ons (one of which contains my heavy camera equipment) and my small computer bag. The short, friendly Greek dude hoists one of the large, heavy suitcases up onto his shoulder, grabs (and lifts off of the ground) the other large suitcase with his other hand and says in a jovial voice with a thick accent, “Follow me!” as we begin to trek down about 100 winding, twisting, uneven stairs!! Will I ever find my way out of here?! To say I was stunned by this guy’s physical strength is an understatement.
He beat us down to the hotel reception area and came back up and took the suitcase (containing the camera equipment) the remainder of the way. So totally helpful and delightfully jovial!! After we checked in, he then took all of our luggage down another 30 – 50 stairs to the room. I can’t tell you how much I appreciated this! I was completely exhausted having not slept for the past 24 hours. Just managing all the stairs without falling was enough of a challenge!
Now, let’s talk man cave!!
The villa, Dana Villas, like most places along the caldera here in Santorini, is carved out of the volcanic rock, is painted totally white, and overlooks the caldera high above the Aegean Sea below. This is why I love Santorini. The views in every direction are just stunningly gorgeous. But no time to admire that now. We were both dead dog tired and went straight to sleep!!
First Walk in Thira
After a 2.5 hour nap, I forced myself to get up, even though it was impossibly difficult!! I wanted to reset my internal body clock on local time as fast as possible. So, cameras in tow, we began a leisurely stroll back up all of those steps and along the caldera ridge toward the Thira town center.
It’s very warm, (having acclimated to San Francisco, it was hotter than hell!) but there’s always a gentle (sometimes ferocious) cooling breeze. Again, the views are spectacular. About 6 – 7 ships, several very large cruise ships, were in the caldera. Despite this fact, the paths were surprisingly people-free, but we were in the less touristy area, heading into the heart of tourist-ville.
After a long, slow stroll down to the heart of town, we passed the large Catholic cathedral, in the typical domed style of the Greek island. I’m not catholic, but I do love hearing the reverberations of the men chanting the Latin mass floating effortlessly through the cobble stoned streets. It was gorgeous.
Dinner and Sunset at Remvi
On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at one of the numerous restaurants, Remvi, for dinner and to watch the sunset. The restaurant itself is a beautiful mix of tan, orange and green, and, like everything here, clings to the edge of the caldera. The food and the view both were spectacular! You don’t really describe the sunsets here. You just experience them. You also watch others, all facing the setting sun in their villas and other restaurants and cafés, absorb them into their souls as well. Just perfection!
The Greek people, as well as the tourists here, are friendly and chat easily with strangers.
The hotel was just a short walk from the restaurant, though quite a few steps. I was in bed by 8:00pm and asleep by 8:01!! I’m actually writing this blog post on Monday morning, sitting out in the constant breeze on the very cool and beautifully lit veranda with a fluffy cat that has casually strolled down to visit with me. Cats abound here on Santorini. Interestingly, even though I’d guess I’m 1,000 feet above the sea, I can clearly hear the waves lapping against the rocks below and the wind rustling the beautiful bougainvillea .
I’ll come back and add some photos once I upload them from the camera.